Doing so requires the courage and clarity to see yourself, so that you may begin the process of tearing down the walls that protect your heart. As you do this you will open to the flow of love and life around you. Level 4: the highest form of love. Every single person was born with unique gifts.
The gifts can be anything from athletic performance, to empathy, to humor, to spirituality, to business acumen, and everything in between. The real work of learning to love yourself is learning to see who you truly are and accepting it all.
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The highest expression of love for yourself and the world is sharing those gifts freely and abundantly. What follows are guidelines for learning to love yourself.
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- Loving yourself is really f***ing hard: here’s how to do it | Jason Connell.
They are the things that consistently get results, laid out in a sequence that is congruent with how the heart and the mind tend to work. But there is no singular path forward. Your job is to find your path. My advice to you: when you find a step or a suggestion that excites you, experiment with it. See if it opens you and makes you happier.
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If so, keep working with it. If not, let it go. When you find a step or suggestion that inspires fear, reluctance, or disgust, approach it with curiosity. Instead of allowing intense emotion to be a brick wall, use curiosity and patience to feel through it. The complicated relationship between feelings and actions. One of the secrets of human behavior is that how we feel and how we behave act reciprocally upon one another. Pause and take inventory of the actions that you perform throughout the day. Are they reflective of the actions you would take if you truly loved yourself?
For most, the answer is no. You can take a huge step forward by treating yourself as though you are intrinsically worthy of love. There is no prescriptive blend of behaviors that works for everyone.
However the actions below are unusually effective and worth experimenting with. In fact, they are common. Instead try one or two. Take the risk of treating yourself well and see what happens.
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When I was living in Montreal, I had a roommate who pretended that every day was amazing. She said she loved God, loved life, and felt grateful just to be on Earth. There was a huge disconnect between the stories she told everyone including herself and her reality. She wanted every day to be bright, sunny, and joyful.
Look to nature. Even the most beautiful, ancient forests are sometimes struck by lightning and burnt to the ground. At first glance, this seems like tragic, wasteful destruction.
The fire destroys the forest; the ashes feed the soil; the soil provides a stronger, more nurturing environment; the forest grows back more radiant than before. Beneath the pain, darkness and destruction rests a quiet core of growth, love, and beauty. This is true of a forest, and this is also true of a human.
To step fully into the human experience you must embrace the darkness. At a more mundane level, it means realizing that suffering is part of the human experience. To deny your suffering is to deny your humanity. You are a human. The second level of learning to love yourself is embracing who you really are. Cast away the societal bullshit of trying to be happy and content every second of your life and step into the greater reality of being honest about who you are and how you experience life. By doing so, you will create space to give and receive love.
Loving yourself is really f***ing hard: here’s how to do it
Doing this requires being honest about who you are, and that means embracing that you have a shadow side. Have you ever felt fully loved? We live in a world that values a head far more than it values a heart. The only way a heart could survive is to protect itself with thick walls. The third and most difficult step involves finding, accepting, and removing the walls that protect your heart. I had a huge blind spot around being a child entertainer, that I simply could not have seen without a talented professional. Begin by digging into your life story. The easiest way to do this is to create a space where you can express yourself freely.
I suggest either writing in a journal or engaging in a verbal monologue, out loud, to yourself. Your task is to tell your life story from start to finish. Keep a photo of yourself as a child nearby while you go through these exercises. As you express yourself, go out of your way to be honest, vulnerable, and forthright.
Lean into your rough edges, your humanity, and your rawness. One of my friends is a survivor of repeated childhood sexual abuse. Worse still, her parents were aware of the abuse and did nothing to stop it. A few months ago, I was sharing something with her about how terrible it was being a child entertainer. Until that moment, I had been a victim of myself. For years, I had been telling myself that doing magic shows before my 18 th birthday, at the expense of my childhood, had no negative effects on me.
How to Fall In Love With Yourself
The truth is, I was wrong. My past was affecting me. It was a big deal. Trauma and pain can be caused by obvious things like being raised by abusive parents, subtle things like a cruel word, and everything in between. Where it comes from is not a reflection of your worthiness, strength, or ability as a human.
And then I crawled into bed and cried.
As you embrace this, you will start to feel an opening. The deep work of learning to love is done by shining a bright light on yourself and accepting the truth about things that happened in your past. I am tempted to picture a fully formed, loving human as someone who lives in total bliss. Fawns eat from her hand and humming birds land on her shoulder to share their secrets.